Saturday, August 11, 2018

8 Days: Sailing Away

I left Melbourne at eight'o'clock this morning. The ride to the airport at half six was painless. It was raining, but not heavily. The Tulla was running well - light traffic. It was cool, but not cold.

The woman at the desk of the car parking place greeted me with, "Hello, Pand, red CX3? Give me your keys. You know what to do."

I've reached regular status at the airport parking place.

She will see me again very early on Thursday morning.

The flight was non-descript, just the way I like them. I bought a nut bar on the way to the gate, knowing my chances of a gluten and dairy free breakfast were slim - I never think to order it beforehand, and for the hour's flight, there really is no point. The nut bar did the job.

The connections were seemless - just a minute or two before the airport train came, then only a five minute wait at Circular Quay for the ferry to leave. Connections rarely get as good at this.

I made my way outside onto the lower deck, up near the bow, to the side overlooking the bridge. The sun was shining. It was warm enough to sit there in my thin dress and cardigan. Going from the gloom of the Melbourne winter to what felt like a Spring day in Sydney was something my soul needed.

I love boats. I love being on boats - it has to be my favourite way to travel.

And the Manly Ferry has to be my favourite boat ride in Australia. To the untrained eye, it's a clunky old rust bucket, but this sea going ferry has a sense of security and reliability - even when it gets a bit  bumpy going through the heads. For the princely sum of seven dollars you are taken from the CBD, past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and through to this beachside suburb which doesn't feel like Sydney at all.

For me, just sitting in the sunshine, unencumbered by a coat, leggings, boots and all the other accouterments of the Melbourne winter was pure joy. I sat, grinning like the idiot that I am.

A warm sunny day and a boat ride are as about as near to happiness as I can find.

Tomorrow morning I will walk along the beach, barefoot, toes dipping in the shallows, letting the sand and water smoothe my feet while I ponder the vastness of the Pacific. It always blows me away as I watch it from the plane window as the plane banks over Botany Bay.

And then I will be back in Melbourne.

But I will remember this little patch of pure happiness, for as they say, it is the little things.

Today's Song:

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